- Discuss the different types of family. Where does your family fit in? Why? Do you feel as though your family is “typically Canadian”? Explain.
- Discuss three of the nine major changes that are occurring in Canadian families. Provide specific examples and statistics to support your arguments.
- In which ways is the family in Quebec sociologically distinct from the family in other parts of Canada?
- Compare and contrast Bott’s (1957) segregated and joint roles with Beaujot’s (2000) complementary and companionate roles. How do these roles manifest within your family dynamic?
- What is the difference between endogamy and exogamy? Provide examples to illustrate your answer.
- How were immigrant families, particularly those of domestic workers, restricted by Canadian immigration policies?
- Discuss two of the ways in which Indigenous families in Canada were negatively affected by government policies.
- Define polygamy. Is it only practiced in North Africa and the Middle East?
Exploration and Discussion Exercises
- As an exercise, watch the film American Beauty (1999). What does this movie tell you about the differences between families? Does this movie simply outline one deviant group of individuals or does it suggest that every family has underlying issues (some more serious than others)? Identify the types of families outlined in the movie. Can you relate to any of the situations faced by these individuals? How is your family similar/different?
- In contrast to this representation of the North American family, now watch the documentary Baka: The People of the Rainforest (1987). What does this movie tell you about the family dynamics of hunters and gatherers? What marital roles are expressed in this documentary? In what ways does the family dynamic evident among the Baka differ from the family dynamic typically seen among typical North American families?
- Watch an episode of the TV series Modern Family as a signifier of the change in family dynamic in North America. Also, comment on the intersection of ethnicity and gender.